Getting Ready to Go Google Yet? Here Are Some Tips for Your Transition!

"Are you ready to Go Google?As OIT moves forward with plans to transition the College to Google Apps for Education, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the transition.

The migration of your email and primary calendars from our Microsoft Exchange servers to Google’s servers will begin in late December 2012.  For students the migration will begin after classes have ended for the Fall 2012 semester.  For Faculty, the migration will begin after grades have been turned in for the Fall 2012 semester, and for Staff, the migration will begin over the Christmas holidays.  The migration process and schedule have been designed to cause the least amount of disruption possible.  In fact, we expect that most people won’t even notice the process.  When you return to campus after the new year, you will be able to log in to Google and find your mail and primary calendar already transitioned.

This period of time before the transition presents an opportunity to clean up and even rethink how you manage your email and calendars so that you can be the most productive with the least effort.  OIT has a few recommendations to get you started:

  • Clean out your inbox of the email that you don’t need:
    Yes, the Gmail inboxes will be bigger, but why bring all that mail you never read over with you?  Take a few minutes and get rid of the mail that you don’t need.  Once your mail is in Google you will be able to set up new rules and filters for how to deal with the mail that comes into your inbox.  Your inbox will be lean and mean and working for you.  Think you will need help with setting up filters to improve your workflow? No problem – Check out our training classes to get some help from our staff.
  • Think about any shared email inboxes for which you are responsible:
    Do you check a generic email address to keep in touch with the public?  This inbox will need to be moved over separately, and OIT is collecting information about active shared inboxes right now through the Shared Mailboxes, Distribution Lists, and Public Folders in Microsoft Exchange Form.  If you are responsible for a shared inbox, report it on this form along with contact information and we will move your inbox over to Google for you as part of the migration process.  You can also use this form to tell us of a shared inbox that we can go ahead and delete because it’s not being used.  Please note: if you don’t report these inboxes as active, you may lose access to the current contents when accounts are migrated.  You will be able to request a new shared inbox after the migration to Google is complete in 2013.
  • Consider your distribution lists:
    If you have asked OIT (or CTSS) to create a list of email addresses for you, you will need to fill out the Shared Mailboxes, Distribution Lists, and Public Folders in Microsoft Exchange Form for these as well. We are working hard to make the transition to Google smooth, so answer a few brief questions on the form and we are happy to move distribution lists over for you as well.
  • Think about what kinds of training you may need:
    We are providing training for all levels of users — those of you that are brand new to Gmail and Google Calendars, also Google pros who just want a refresher or an opportunity to ask some questions.  Head on over to the OIT Training Calendar to find out what we have already scheduled. If you click on an event you can see a description of the training and even a registration form if there are seats to be held.  If your office, department, or group would like a more focused training, we are happy to schedule you for specialized sessions that will focus on the features you would like to learn.  Just put in a ticket at http://itsupport.smcm.edu, let us know specifically what you are interested in learning, some times you might be available and we will set up training time with you and your group.  We can accommodate a group of up to 18 people in the Learning Technology Center Experimental Classroom in Baltimore Hall; or we’ll come to you in a conference room.
  • Do you have questions about the Google transition?
    OIT has scheduled two open forums to allow any member of the campus community to come and see what Google Apps for education can do, ask any questions about the implementation of these tools and how you might be affected, or how you and your colleagues might be able to improve efficiency and collaborate effectively after the transition.

    • Monday, December 3, 2012 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Glendening Annex
    • Tuesday, December 4, 2012 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Glendening Annex

In the coming weeks, OIT will continue to provide information about the Google Apps for Education transition, what you can do to prepare and how to become comfortable with the new tools and explore the new opportunities these tools provide to increase collaboration and efficiency across campus.

2 thoughts on “Getting Ready to Go Google Yet? Here Are Some Tips for Your Transition!

  1. Thanks for providing the updates and for the notification of where to go for different training opportunities.

    I have been to a training session by the Learning Technology staff and it was wonderful. I hope that everyone can take advantage of their resources as it has helped us quite a bit.

    Elizabeth

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